June 18, 2023

In a recent study, “Consumers care about sustainability and back it up with their wallets,” McKinsey & Company highlights the increasing importance of sustainability in consumer purchasing decisions. The authors shed light on the growing trend of consumers actively supporting and rewarding companies that demonstrate strong sustainability practices. 

Consumers want to make purchase choices aligned with their values 

The article highlights key findings from a survey conducted by McKinsey, revealing that sustainability has become a mainstream concern for consumers across various industries. It emphasizes that buyers are not only interested in sustainability as an abstract concept—but are willing to take action and make purchase choices aligned with their values. 

One significant finding is that sustainability considerations influence consumer behavior and purchasing decisions. The study shows that more than 65% of consumers surveyed actively seek out sustainable products, and around 80% are willing to pay a premium for them. This demonstrates a significant shift in buyer’s mindset and a growing demand for sustainable options. 

Experts also highlight that sustainability is no longer limited to a niche market. Consumers from diverse demographic segments, including different age groups and income levels, are actively seeking sustainable products. This indicates that sustainability has become a universal expectation and a key driver of brand loyalty. 

There is strong evidence that consumers’ expressed sentiments about ESG-related product claims translate, on average, into actual spending behavior. And this suggests that companies don’t need to choose between ESG and growth. They can achieve both simultaneously by employing a thoughtful, fact-based, consumer-centric ESG strategy. The overarching result might be not just healthier financial performance but also a healthier planet.

Moreover, the article emphasizes the need for companies to prioritize sustainability and embed it within their business strategies. Organizations that embrace sustainability as a core value and integrate it into their operations, supply chains, and product offerings are more likely to gain a competitive advantage. Companies can attract and retain customers by clearly communicating their sustainability efforts, providing transparency about their environmental and social impact, and offering sustainable alternatives. 

Most important is what lies behind these product claims—the actual contribution of such business practices to achieving goals such as reducing carbon emissions across value chains, offering fair wages and working practices to employees, and supporting diversity and inclusion.

Read the full report



Veronica Bocian